disaggregated server

What is a disaggregated server?

A disaggregated server is a server whose components and resources are divided into subsystems. For example, an IT organization could disaggregate a server into compute, input/output, power and storage modules that can then be shared among other nearby servers.

Disaggregation of software from hardware is a common form of disaggregation. There are a number of choices of hardware operating systems, and it's not necessary to buy packaged software and networking equipment for the sake of adaptability.

Benefits and challenges of server disaggregation

Due to their modularization of resources, disaggregated servers can adapt to changing storage or compute workloads as needed without requiring IT admins to replace or disrupt an entire server for an extended period of time.

In addition, IT teams can tear down a disaggregated server when its role is complete and partially reuse its components in a customized build. Server disaggregation also eliminates the need to completely replace servers to upgrade just one resource group, such as processors -- a common problem in server administration.

Connectivity of components is a top concern when adopting a disaggregated server model. This concern can be addressed through photonics, or optical computing, which is an approach that relies on the photons in light waves for electronic communication, processing and storage. Photonic computing offers huge amounts of bandwidth without the fickleness, air disruption and bulk of conventional electronic cables.

This was last updated in May 2023

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